Fact Friday: seven facts about the super grain oat
An elixir of life for horses, a traditionally Swiss foodstuff and an unbeatable drink. If you want to earn brownie points the next time you’re round the table with your flexitarian buddies, look no further than these seven facts.
7 oat facts
#1Swiss lake dwellers were oat pioneers
Who would have thought it? Oats are essentially a traditional Swiss foodstuff: lake dwellers grew oats as early as the Bronze Age, around 2400 BCE. Scientists believe that the super grain originally came from Southwest Asia and that it lived in the shadow of barley and wheat prior to its breakthrough.
#2Swiss farmers rediscover oats
Up until 1990, when production rapidly increased, oats were grown on over 10,400 hectares of land in Switzerland. These days, domestic cultivation is still modest compared to imports, but it is gathering speed again as a result of the growth of oat drinks. At Emmi, we exclusively use Swiss oats to make our oat drink from the beleaf brand.
#3An elixir of life for horses
Horses are partly responsible for the success of oats. They were once the main consumers, as they literally used the feed to give them their horsepower. It wasn’t until after World War II, as cars were replacing horses, that oat production started to decline.
#4A local superfood
Oats are not only a super grain for horses: they contain a lot of fiber and are a valuable source of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. This plant-based source of iron also has a positive impact on cholesterol levels.
#5Who said anything about a winter break?
Just like wheat, barley and rye, farmers can sow oats at the beginning of October. They grow over winter and are harvested in July. The “Wiland” oat variety is particularly tasty and is supposed to be of higher quality than summer-sown varieties. Incidentally, these have pretty cool names such as “Canyon” and “Husky”.
#6Oat drinks are leading the way for the climate and environment
Oats are humble growing partners. They need very little fertilizer or pesticides because pests pose no real threat to them and they can use their deep roots to draw nutrients from the soil. If the grain has also been grown in Switzerland and no unnecessary additives are used – as is the case with the oat drink from beleaf – its climate and environmental footprint will be even smaller.
#7You can whip up some yummy desserts with oat drinks
nce this versatile Swiss super grain has been transformed into a delicious milk alternative, you can whip up both on-trend and classic desserts with it. How about chia pudding to round off a dinner with friends or crème caramel for when grandma comes to visit? You can find some simple and delicious recipes at beleaf.ch.
15 july 2022 - Who invented ice cream? Which type of Emmi ice cream is most popular? And why does cold ice cream give you brain freeze, but also make you sweat? We’ll explain all – while you finish off your "gelato".